Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 14th Aug 2012 21:16 UTC
Legal This week, Samsung started its defence in the big Apple vs. Samsung thing. First, Samsung pointed towards several cases of prior art, trying to invalidate Apple patents, surely something that's going to be the theme to Samsung's case. Later, Samsung pulled its own software patents out of its a... Neck, claiming Apple infringed them. The patents are just as ridiculous as Apple's, but alas, they have to do something in the face of Apple's anti-competitive aggression. Here is Shepard under a unicorn rainbow.
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Yup
by judgen on Tue 14th Aug 2012 22:13 UTC
judgen
Member since:
2006-07-12

Hopefully something good will come out of this litigation and its following verdict, but i am starting to doubt it.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Yup
by Alfman on Tue 14th Aug 2012 22:56 UTC in reply to "Yup"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

The best case scenario is that both companies are allowed to continue selling their devices while passing along minimal royalty fees to consumers, and all that will have been lost is millions in $ of legal overhead.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Yup
by shmerl on Wed 15th Aug 2012 00:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Yup"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

The best scenario IMO - passing no fees to consumers and complete invalidation of offensive patents. All other scenarios can hardly be called "best".

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Yup
by Alfman on Wed 15th Aug 2012 13:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Yup"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

shmerl,

"The best scenario IMO - passing no fees to consumers and complete invalidation of offensive patents. All other scenarios can hardly be called 'best'."

I agree that would be the best scenario for consumers overall, but I was kind of thinking of the best realistic scenario that could result from this case. I also hope there are no new royalty fees, but I'm sure both companies are already paying royalties which won't be affected by this case.

Just to connect the dots in your scenario, to invalidate offensive patents is more or less equivalent to rendering them void, isn't it? After all, if nobody can use them offensively, then there would be zero need to defend from them either. The "value" of patents becomes nil if they can't be used offensively.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Yup
by shmerl on Wed 15th Aug 2012 14:48 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Yup"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Yes, basically making them void.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Yup
by quackalist on Tue 14th Aug 2012 23:45 UTC in reply to "Yup"
quackalist Member since:
2007-08-27

Win, and you'd have to wonder how, or lose imagine in years to come this will be thought the defining moment when Apple lost the plot and threw it all away...well, maybe not all but than MS hasn't thrown it all away as yet.

Reply Score: 1

Defence!
by kwan_e on Wed 15th Aug 2012 02:09 UTC
kwan_e
Member since:
2007-02-18

Defence! Defence!

You call that blowing!?

Reply Score: 3

The winners are
by tingo on Wed 15th Aug 2012 08:22 UTC
tingo
Member since:
2007-10-13

as always, the Lawyers. Another court case, another win for the lawyers on both sides.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by marcp
by marcp on Wed 15th Aug 2012 12:08 UTC
marcp
Member since:
2007-11-23

You know what? I'm fed up with this. Let them fight.
I'll choose and recommend to others to buy alternative, open hardware and low cost phones with custom linux OS. Screw you Apple, screw you Samsung. You're all about the money, patents and not the end users.

Just go @#$%@#$ alternative whenever you can. Don't let the bastards screw with you.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Comment by marcp
by Alfman on Wed 15th Aug 2012 14:18 UTC in reply to "Comment by marcp"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

marcp,

"I'll choose and recommend to others to buy alternative, open hardware and low cost phones with custom linux OS. Screw you Apple, screw you Samsung. You're all about the money, patents and not the end users."

Hmm, I understand the frustration at the whole ordeal, however I don't understand why you'd blame the defendant? What would you have samsung do here?

Alas, open hardware and open source operating systems are just as vulnerable to patent infringement lawsuits. Microsoft is just one company who's successfully collecting royalties from linux/android vendors:

http://news.yahoo.com/amazon-fire-developer-others-pay-android-roya...

http://thenextweb.com/microsoft/2011/05/27/htc-pays-microsoft-5-for...

http://techcrunch.com/2011/06/29/microsoft-scares-two-more-android-...

http://www.techdrivein.com/2011/07/list-of-companies-that-pay-royal...

There is no exception to patent monopolies for open technologies, but that might be a fascinating dynamic to explore. The original motivation for the patent system to publish information is unneeded for open technologies since they're already explicitly open. If open source were legally protected from patent lawsuits, it would free open source companies from the overhead and burden of the patent system. They would no longer have to defend themselves in a patent system that provides them with absolutely no benefit.

I think this would be an extremely interesting approach, but it would require lawyers to cut themselves out of open revenue streams.

Edited 2012-08-15 14:18 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by marcp
by zima on Tue 21st Aug 2012 23:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by marcp"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

There is no exception to patent monopolies for open technologies, but that might be a fascinating dynamic to explore. The original motivation for the patent system to publish information is unneeded for open technologies since they're already explicitly open. If open source were legally protected from patent lawsuits, it would free open source companies from the overhead and burden of the patent system. They would no longer have to defend themselves in a patent system that provides them with absolutely no benefit.

That seems a bit backwards to the reasoning we'd most likely encounter, something like: since open technologies and patents are so in-line WRT to their, well, openness - it's especially important to protect (and promote...) the former with the latter. And/or "if it's open source, it can ignore patents of others" wouldn't go down well with many big market players.

Anyway, patents are of course used now in a way pretty much counter to their original purpose - which, going back, would be probably dismantling the power of the guilds, their secrecy and the relative stagnation it probably brought.

Reply Score: 2

No good will come from it
by Drunkula on Wed 15th Aug 2012 12:53 UTC
Drunkula
Member since:
2009-09-03

Judge Koh is apparently biased by disallowing a big part of Samsung's defense (pre-Iphone designs).

Reply Score: 1

RE: No good will come from it
by Bobthearch on Wed 15th Aug 2012 13:39 UTC in reply to "No good will come from it"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

It seems that Samsung screwed up by not submitting that evidence on time.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by kurkosdr
by kurkosdr on Wed 15th Aug 2012 15:55 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

"I'll choose and recommend to others to buy alternative, open hardware and low cost phones with custom linux OS. Screw you Apple, screw you Samsung. You're all about the money, patents and not the end users."

Untill some patent troll (including Apple and MS) comes and starts demanding royalties (or an ITC sale ban) from said open hardware. Is said open device capable of playing or recording H.264? Oh, you are using WebM. In that case, I see a feature that allows sending a photo the user just took via email, a slide to unlock feature and a rounded corner. Please pay us royalties/halt sales in the US, because you are violating or so non-obvious, non-overly broad "inventions".
So, the company that makes said open hardware will either have to comply and start cutting features 'till all is left is a CLI interface, or do what Samsung does: Defend the device any way they can. Aka fnding prior act, trying to prove patents are overly broad or countersue with own patents (of similar validity). Sure the latter is patent-trollish by itself, but as long as the patents are not used offensively, it's fair game.

Some FOSS people think FOSS is magically invulnerable to patent trolling, just because software like VLC and Handbrake is distributed from proper countries like France where soft patents don't apply. Unfortunately, if you want to sell things in the US (and UK and Germany), things are different. Soft patents apply to FOSS too.

As regards the trial, the best case scenario is a precendent where crap soft patents can be invalidated easily, and the USPTO being more carefull about what soft patents it accepts (hoping for abolishing soft patents in the US is unrealistic, since soft patents are now a business by itself among venture capitalist firms)

Edited 2012-08-15 15:57 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by kurkosdr
by ichi on Thu 16th Aug 2012 07:41 UTC in reply to "Comment by kurkosdr"
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

As regards the trial, the best case scenario is a precendent where crap soft patents can be invalidated easily, and the USPTO being more carefull about what soft patents it accepts (hoping for abolishing soft patents in the US is unrealistic, since soft patents are now a business by itself among venture capitalist firms)


I don't think the USPTO will ever really care about actually reviewing software patents, but there's hope for patents devaluating if those using them offensively get slapped hard in the court.

Reply Score: 2

Judge Koh
by bitwelder on Fri 17th Aug 2012 21:54 UTC
bitwelder
Member since:
2010-04-27

I begin to like this judge: http://www.theverge.com/2012/8/16/3247092/judge-to-apple-youre-smok...

As the discussion continued, Koh grew even more frustrated, telling the parties that the conversation would come at the expense of their trial time. "I'm billing time because you all are being unreasonable," she said.

And let me remark this sentence: you *all* are being unreasonable.

Reply Score: 2

Good times right around the corner
by n0b0dy on Sun 19th Aug 2012 16:11 UTC
n0b0dy
Member since:
2009-09-03